Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do if your kid’s emergency fund is you? Also in the news: Frequently asked questions about Coronavirus unemployment, how 3D home tours are allowing buyers to keep their distance, and why you should make a COVID-19 backup plan before returning to your office.

What to do if your kid’s emergency fund is you?
The Bank of Mom and Dad.

Frequently asked questions about Coronavirus unemployment
Over 42 million Americans have filed for unemployment since March.

How 3D home tours are allowing buyers to keep their distance
Staying safe while shopping for a new home.

Why you should make a COVID-19 backup plan before returning to your office
It’s a whole new working world.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Credit cards that help authorized users build credit. Also in the news: Taking control with advance medical directives, why you don’t need 20% down to buy a home, and why wealthy college students are getting more financial aid.

Which Credit Cards Help Authorized Users Build Credit?
Building your credit with a little help.

Take Control Now With Advance Medical Directives
Creating a living will and other advance directive documents may be easier, and cheaper, than you think.

Why You Don’t Need 20% Down to Buy a Home
Many lenders don’t require 20% down. But read the fine print.

Why do wealthy college students get more financial aid?
Rich students are getting more scholarship aid.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How states are helping student loan borrowers during the Coronavirus. Also in the news: Making a financial recovery kit to rally faster after disaster, a new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on buying a first home in an expensive area, and why your credit limit just dropped.

How States Are Helping Student Loan Borrowers During the Coronavirus
Find out what your state is doing.

Make a Financial Recovery Kit to Rally Faster After Disaster
Using all this free time wisely.

SmartMoney Podcast: ‘How Can I Buy My First Home in an Expensive City?’
Important factors to take into consideration.

Why Your Credit Limit Just Dropped
Reducing risk.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Can I buy or sell a house during the Coronavirus pandemic? Also in the news: How to manage your credit score during a crisis, Coronavirus cancellation and change policies for credit card travel portals, and how to get all your credit card payments deferred in one call.

Can I Buy or Sell a House During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
New regulations you’ll contend with.

How to Manage Your Credit Score During a Crisis
Looking at alternatives.

Coronavirus Cancellation and Change Policies for Credit Card Travel Portals
Everything you need to know.

Get All Your Credit Card Payments Deferred With One Call
A credit counselor can help you.

Q&A: Taxes when inheriting a home

Dear Liz: My sister recently passed, and I acquired her home, which I’m selling (it’s now in escrow). I was looking at state tax forms for real estate transactions, and there is nowhere to check for a person who was given a home through death. Does this mean it is taxable? I was told since it was an inheritance that it was not taxable.

Answer: Technically, you weren’t given a home. You inherited it, and you’re correct that inheritances are typically not taxable. (Only six states impose inheritance taxes, and your state, California, is not one of them.) When you inherited the home, the property received what’s known as a step-up in tax basis, so that the appreciation that occurred during your sister’s lifetime is not taxed. You would owe tax only on any appreciation that occurred since you owned the property. A tax pro can help you figure out what you might owe.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: COVID-19 loan options and payment relief. Also in the news: Why you shouldn’t give your adult kids your house, managing the high cost of infertility, and when you’ll get your Coronavirus relief check.

COVID-19: Loan Options and Payment Relief
Lenders respond to the pandemic.

Don’t Give Your Adult Kids Your House
Good intentions could cause big problems.

Managing the High Cost of Infertility
Evaluating your options.

Here’s When You’ll Get Your Coronavirus Relief Check
A look at the schedule.

Don’t give your adult kids your house

Adding an adult child to your house deed, or giving them the home outright, might seem like a smart thing to do. It usually isn’t.

Transferring your house to your kids while you’re alive may avoid probate, the court process that otherwise follows death. But gifting a home also can result in a big, unnecessary tax bill and put your house at risk if your kids get sued or file for bankruptcy. You also could be making a big mistake if you hope it will help keep the house from being consumed by nursing home bills.

In my latest for the Associated Press, learn the better ways to transfer a house to your kids, as well as a little-known potential fix that may help even if the giver has since died.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 credit card changes coming soon. Also in the news: 4 ways to pay for college if your financial aid isn’t enough, the best credit cards for recent college grads, and the decline in house flipping profitability.

5 Credit Card Changes — With More Rewards, Less Fraud — Coming Soon
A sneak peek at what’s to come.

4 Ways to Pay for College If Your Financial Aid Isn’t Enough
You still have options.

The Best Credit Cards for Recent College Grads
Time to start building solid credit.

Is house flipping starting to flop? It’s “getting less and less profitable”
Return on investments reaches an 8-year low.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to buy a house without help from your family. Also in the news: What Walmart’s upgraded cards have in store for shoppers, the cheapest ways to fly to Disney World using points and miles, and how to boost your savings post-Fed interest rates cuts.

How to Buy a House Without Help From Your Family
Doing it on your own.

What Walmart’s Upgraded Cards Have In Store for Shoppers
Better perks are coming.

Cheapest Ways to Fly to Disney World Using Points and Miles
How to play the rewards game.

The Fed just cut interest rates. Here’s how to boost your savings
Time to shop around.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to make living in a new place a reality. Also in the news: How one couple paid off $300k of debt in three years, what workers can learn from retirees’ regrets, and the average FICO score hits an all-time high.

Dreaming of Living in a New Place? Here’s How to Make It a Reality
One step at a time.

How I Ditched Debt: Small Wins Help Achieve a Big Dream
How one couple paid off over $300K in three years.

What Workers Can Learn From Retirees’ Regrets: Save More Now
The sooner, the better.

Average FICO score hits all-time high
The nation’s average score is now 706.